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“Not guilty”. One judge speaks about the Yingluck Shinawatra verdict.

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“Not guilty”. One judge speaks about the Yingluck Shinawatra verdict. | The Thaiger
Pison Pirun, a judge in the nine-member Supreme Court panel that ruled in the case over the rice-pledging scheme against ex-PM Yingluck Shinawatra case, was the only judge to rule her not guilty on the grounds that “she lacked the intention to cause loss or seek advantage she was not entitled to”.
His ruling was circulated yesterday, three weeks after the panel had read the majority verdict against Yingluck in absentia following her flight from the country.
In his verdict dated September 27, the judge explained that the Attorney-General had prosecuted Yingluck for negligence or misconduct. However, according to the law, the offence must be accompanied also by ill intention, or ill intention to cause loss to others.
The act of negligence alone did not count as an offence in the laws cited by the Attorney-General, Pison pointed out.
Although the prosecutor had proved the rice-pledging scheme was plagued with corruption, there was no evidence that Yingluck had benefited from it, Pison wrote.

In the fake government-to-government rice deals case, although Apichart Chansakulporn, better known as “Sia Piang”, had been ruled guilty, it had not been proved that Yingluck had facilitated the deals either, Pison wrote.
A photograph showing Sia Piang and Yingluck’s brother Thaksin Shinawatra in Hong Kong was not sufficient to prove that she was close to him and could have helped him gain advantage in the deals, Pison wrote.
Although the prosecutor and Yingluck had argued extensively about whether or not the rice-pledging scheme had caused losses or been beneficial to the economy, Pison said those arguments were irrelevant in the context of law.
He also rejected Yingluck’s arguments regarding judicial power as irrelevant.
Pison summed up his verdict by ruling the case against Yingluck should be dismissed.
Eight other judges, however, ruled Yingluck guilty and the panel handed down a five-year imprisonment term.
Yingluck fled the country two days before the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Office Holders was scheduled to read the verdict on August 25. She is reportedly seeking asylum in the United Kingdom.

STORY: The Nation



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Crime

43 year old British man arrested over Phuket dog attack

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43 year old British man arrested over Phuket dog attack | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Facebook/Naiharn Beach Dogs

Mervyn Harding, a 43 year old British expat, has ben charged over animal cruelty after he was identified on CCTV attacking a dog with a long rod on Tuesday morning (July 16).

He was charged after attacking the dog in front of a massage shop near Nai Harn Beach around 7am on Tuesday. Police started investigating the case after the video was posted online.

The video shows the man arriving at the scene, taking the rod from his motorbike, then violently beating the dog. The man told police that he had beaten the dog as revenge because it had attacked his dog.

He appeared at the Phuket Provincial Court today Thursday). Bail was refused on request from the police and he is currently detained pending a court hearing. Police estimate it could take up to two months before his case reaches court for a hearing on animal cruelty and trespass charges.

The Thaiger has decided not to share the video of the incident.

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Phuket

UPDATE: Thai PM tells Phuket people to “stop ripping off tourists”

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UPDATE: Thai PM tells Phuket people to “stop ripping off tourists” | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Two Australians file their report with Karon police this morning

Everyone is having their say about a van charging two Australian tourists 3,000 baht for a trip from the Phuket International Airport to Kata, even the Thai PM.

The PM took time out today to issue a warning to “Phuket people” that its reputation as a tourist destination will suffer if local people keep ripping-off tourists.

A spokesperson says the Thai prime minister was made aware of a formal police complaint filed by two Australian tourists that a passenger van driver charged them 3,000 baht (1,500 baht each) for the 47 kilometre ride to their hotel in Kata.

The spokesperson said… “if people persisted in taking unfair advantage of foreign visitors it would have a negative impact on the Thai people and Phuket.”

The costs are well signed as tourists emerge at the airport or they can catch a metered taxi.

The distance from Phuket International Airport to the Kata area is about 47 kilometres, which should usually cost 800-1000 baht, a metered journey could be a little less, depending on the time of day and traffic.

Advertised prices at the airport say the maximum price for a private minibus from the airport to Kata/Karon is 1,600 baht. Other advertised services at the airport say you can catch a min-bus, with other passengers, for 200 baht to Kata/Karon. A taxi from the airport has a rate set at 1,000 baht, 500 baht each for the two Australians.

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Thailand

New Thai Tourism & Sports Minister has a wish-list to improve tourism

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New Thai Tourism & Sports Minister has a wish-list to improve tourism | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Tourism and Sports Minister, Pipat Ratchakitprakan – mots.go.th

The new Thai Tourism and Sports Minister, Pipat Ratchakitprakan, has set out a shortlist of priorities in his new role. He says setting and maintaining better safety standards are vital to regain the confidence of foreign tourists.

The minister says he would also discuss the high baht with the Finance Ministry and Bank of Thailand saying that this issue has made Thailand more expensive for foreigners than in the past and was a deterrent.

He proposed that his Ministry would engage volunteer police in tourism communities around Thailand to supervise visitors. The initiative will start later this year in time for the peak season.

He said that extending the waiver of visa fees for tourists will also be discussed when the new parliament sits from July 25. Pipat also told the Bangkok Post that he will talk to the private sector about enhancing tourism attractions in all provinces, “pushing local tourism to the forefront”.

Pipat Ratchakitprakan took on the Tourism and Sports portfolio after his wife, Natee Ratchakitprakan, a Bhumjaithai party-list candidate, was disqualified and banned from politics for five years after a court ruled that she failed to disclose some assets and debts six years ago.

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